How to Select a Welding Trade School near Etna California
Finding the ideal welder school near Etna CA is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Etna CA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Etna CA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder trade school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Tech School
When you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Etna CA area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Etna CA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Etna CA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Etna CA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Etna CA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Etna CA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Etna CA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Etna CA?
Perhaps you live in the Etna California area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Etna is located at 41°27′26″N 122°53′49″W / 41.45722°N 122.89694°W / 41.45722; -122.89694 (41.457350, -122.896875). Etna is in Northern California near the Oregon border, located in Scott Valley near the CDP of Greenview, the city of Fort Jones, and the unincorporated community of Callahan. Etna is located at the foot of the Marble Mountain Wilderness in the Siskiyou subrange of the Klamath (Cascades) Range and is an attraction for hikers, rafters, climbers and people who do all sorts of other outdoor activities.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Etna had a population of 737. The population density was 971.6 people per square mile (375.1/km²). The racial makeup of Etna was 627 (85.1%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 28 (3.8%) Native American, 1 (0.1%) Asian, 1 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 6 (0.8%) from other races, and 74 (10.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26 persons (3.5%).
There were 323 households, out of which 93 (28.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 141 (43.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 36 (11.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 24 (7.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 19 (5.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 3 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 105 households (32.5%) were made up of individuals and 47 (14.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26. There were 201 families (62.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.86.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Etna CA area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Technical School Etna CA
Selecting the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Etna CA.